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Communications

General

YB Tracking Ltd.
July 2014 Yellowbrick changed its brand to YB Tracking Ltd. This is not an EPIRB or a PLB; it does not just transmit your position in an emergency, it transmits your position on a regular basis, all the time. Yellowbrick is battery powered, and will run for up to 3 months, transmitting hourly.

[Show additional 6 entries for this category]

Communication Equipment

Buying Communication Gear for your Boat
Chris Parker's Marine Weather Center website has useful tips on what to look for when purchasing communication gear for your boat.

Caribbean Cruising & Cell Phones
Posted August 2016.
Useful thread on Cruisers Forum with a variety of options.

Communications Made Simple for Cruisers
Excellent site providing the basics and the details to help cruisers to identify what communications equipment, software, and licensing that is needed to cruise around the world.

Cruising gear: what about the phone?
Posted November 2018.
The indispensable traveler's tool - used as a hotspot, a smartphone is SY Totem's primary vehicle for getting online aboard as they cruise the world. A useful article on how to make your phone work for you when long distance cruising.

Top ways to use your tablet or iPad on board your boat
Yachting World article - December 2015.

VHF Radio Licences & Operator Training
Read this report of VHF radio licence requirements and links to national licencing and operator training.

Internet On Board

Getting Internet on a Boat
August 2016.
Jason and Lisa Robinson of SV Bloom run an online business from their boat. They report on how they got the best connection possible when cruising the Gulf Islands, West Coast USA and Mexico. Published by the Blue Water Cruising Association.

MailASail
Tel:+44 20 70432832
Wide range of services: free weather, email compression software, GPS tracking and blogging tool, satellite phone airtime, WiFi hotspot antenna, advice on comms equipment.

OnBoard WiFi: Get Connected
Posted July 2015.
Whether you need reliable internet access aboard to work, or just like the convenience of web browsing from the cokpit, Cruising World discuss the options available.

Optimizing Iridium GO use on board
Posted June 2018.
Some very useful tips to help you get more out of your Iridium Go for checking news, email, weather, social media, web browsing....

Position Reporting Systems for Cruisers

MailASail
Tel:+44 20 70432832
Wide range of services: free weather, email compression software, GPS tracking and blogging tool, satellite phone airtime, WiFi hotspot antenna, advice on comms equipment.

SkyMate
Range of communication services for cruisers including weather, position reporting, email, weblog and fax/voice.

YB Tracking Ltd.
July 2014 Yellowbrick changed its brand to YB Tracking Ltd. This is not an EPIRB or a PLB; it does not just transmit your position in an emergency, it transmits your position on a regular basis, all the time. Yellowbrick is battery powered, and will run for up to 3 months, transmitting hourly.

sQuidd.io
Posted November 2012
The main feature of use to blue water cruisers is the "follow list", which allows a user to post position updates to Facebook from a smart phone or satellite phone, and to follow his/her sailing friends or regatta competitors on a map.

Cruising Radio Nets - Caribbean

See Docksideradio.com for a list of nets on both the Pacific and Atlantic sides of the USA.

Bahamas Cruiser Net
VHF Channel 68
08:15 local time for Marsh Harbour Abaco, Bahamas.

Bahamas Weather (BASRA)
4003 kHz at 1100 UTC

C AM Breakfast Club
Operates at 0900 EDT on 7083.

Carib WX George
Operates at 0700 EDT on 7241.

Caribbean
6215 kHz at 1000 UTC (Uncontrolled 1000-1200).

Caribbean Maritime Mobile Net
Posted September 2013.
George Kline operates this daily weather net (except Sundays) at 1100 UTC on 7250 LSB. Whilst this is a "HAM" net, anyone can listen. During severe weather the net sometimes also operates in the afternoons, and this is announced on an ad hoc basis during the morning net.

Caribbean NW Net
Northwest Caribbean net, 1400 UTC 6209 USB, alternates 6212 and 6516, 7 days/wk. Generally covers Providencia north to Mexico on the Carib side, including Providencia, San Andreas, Honduras, Guatemala, Belize, Mexico, Cuba, Jamaica and the Caymans. They often follow boats all the way home to Key West through Galveston on the US coast, and sometimes boats heading south will continue to check in down to Panama, but not often.

Caribbean SSB Weather Net
Controller Dave. 8104 kHz at 1230-1300 UTC and 12362 kHz at 1300-1330 UTC. Comprehensive Weather for Caribbean region.

Caribbean SW Net
6209 kHZ at 1315 UTC (0915 EDT). Weather and information Caribbean coast of Panama and Colombia.

Caribbean Safety and Security Net
The daily HF radio voice net was discontinued from 1st April 2014 due to lack of following. The CSSN now have a "report incident" icon on their hompage, with an associated reporting form, making it quick and easy to inform them. Security reports received are published on the website, so check the site regularly for the latest important NEWS and incident reports, or to read a history of incidents in the area you want to cruise. The site has many features under development, which will add new functions and further improve the user experience. The CSSN website also has information and links to a variety of other resources related to safety and security for cruisers. Their precautions checklist on how to prepare before you go is very useful.

Coconut Telegraph
Tel:+1 473-537-3569
The eastern Caribbean's SSB net.
Resumed service 7th November 2018
Monday to Saturday on starting at 8am AST on 4060 and switching to 8170 around 8:10.

Cruiseheimers Net
Eastern U.S. and Canada, The Bahamas, and northern Caribbean. A key Net for cruisers on the east coast of the USA, Caribbean and for those crossing from Europe.
Meets each morning, seven days a week at 0830 Eastern Time on SSB 8152 kHz / 8.152 mHz -OR- 6.516 mHz or 6.227 mHz during the seasonal change (very loosely defined as Fall to Spring).
This group of volunteers relay boats and locations, keeping an eye out for boats on passage. On the same frequency, Dick Giddings, DOODAH Net, at 1700 (05:00 PM Eastern time) also does the same, on 8152 USB.
The Cruiseheimers Net website also has some excellent communications articles.

Friendly Carib Net
Operates at 0600(EDT) on 7188.

Magellen Net
Operates at 0900 and 1800 EDT on 8173.

Marine Weather Centre
Chris Parker
Tel:+1 863-248-2702
Opening hours: Telephone Best times 10am-2pm EST (except Weds 10-1)
Custom weather reports for the Carribbean, Bahamas and Eastern Atlantic Ocean via SSB, phone or web. See website for more details.

SSCA "KPK" Radio Service
This Seven Seas Cruising Association service began on January 3, 2016. It immediately follows the Coconut Telegraph Net (see above) at 1215 hours UTC (0715 EST or 0815 AST) on SSB frequency 8.104, broadcasting to the entire Caribbean up to Maine with news and current events from around the Caribbean, Bahamas, and East Coast of the US.
A second SSCA Net (during the Caribbean season) begins at 0815 hrs EST or 1315 hrs UTC on SSB Frequency 8.104 which is 15 minutes before the start of the Cruiseheimers Net. The intended audience will primarily be Bahamas and East Coast cruisers.
The purpose of the Net is to:
1. Pass emergency & priority traffic, as well as traffic related to safety and security.
2. Provide current news updates of interest to cruisers from such sources as the Caribbean Safety & Security Net, Noonsite, The Salty Southeast Cruisers Net, Caribbean Compass, Bahamas Chatter and others.
3. And to provide any vessels needing assistance with land based resources Caribbean-wide.
Established in September 2015 by Glenn Tuttle (based in SW Florida), the SSCA Radio Service also stands by following both the Cruiseheimers and Doo Dah Nets most days on 8.152. KPK are also authorized to operate on 12.350 and are still working on expanding the antenna array to include that frequency to monitor at 1800 hrs EDT when Chris Parker has his net for vessels in the Atlantic and beyond.
Through a partnership with the Caribbean Safety & Security Net, any report of a safety & security nature occurring in the Caribbean will be immediately provided to the CSSN. Likewise, any recent incident posted on the CSSN website will be announced during this broadcast. The Caribbean Safety and Security Net’s primary mission is the collection and dissemination of accurate information relating to crimes against yachts in the Caribbean, enabling cruisers to make intelligent decisions about how and where they cruise.
“KPK” can assist with radio checks, float plans, telephone contact with family & friends, boat to boat relays, access to medical or mechanical professionals, marinas, Internet searches, or any other assistance that we may be able to provide.
Although this is a service provided by the SSCA, all vessels are welcome to participate in this service.
Questions or comments are welcome using the e-mail address above.

Salty Southeast Cruisers Net
Up-to-date information about cruising southeastern United States and the Bahamas.

The Spider Web Net
Posted January 2018.
From Canada to South America and all the way out to Hawaii & Japan - depending on propagation. The morning session works the Caribbean & Eastern US (from Eastern Canada to South America) and the evening session reaches the Pacific.
This is a general rag chew HAM net that operates twice per day every day of the year, with start times of 1200 & 2230Z. Everyone welcome to join. The net will be 34 years old in July 2018. Just for fun, but many participants were cruising sailors who understand the issues that often need attention at sea. Find out more via the website.

Waterway Cocktail Net
Operates at 1630 EDT on 7086.

Waterway Net
Operates at 0745 EDT on 7268.

Cruising Radio Nets - Asia

Brunei Bay Radio
HF/SSB voice and e-mail services from Brunei on the NW coast of Borneo. Service area covers the NW Pacific, SE Asia, and eastern Indian Oceans (plus N and W coasts of Australia). SailMail host for this region, and also BBRemail service for cruisers.

SE Asia Cruisers Radio Net
THIS NET IS NO LONGER OPERATIONAL. Established in January 2013 following loss of the Mobile Maritime Net. Operated on 8167 mhz at 0730 Thai time (0830 Malay time) every morning.

Cruising Radio Nets - Mediterranean

Mediterranean Radio Nets
See web link for list and further information.

Cruising Radio Nets - Atlantic

See Docksideradio.com for a list of nets on both the Pacific and Atlantic sides of the USA.

Atlantic Radio Nets
See web link for list and further information.

Cruiseheimers Net
Eastern U.S. and Canada, The Bahamas, and northern Caribbean. A key Net for cruisers on the east coast of the USA, Caribbean and for those crossing from Europe.
Meets each morning, seven days a week at 0830 Eastern Time on SSB 8152 kHz / 8.152 mHz -OR- 6.516 mHz or 6.227 mHz during the seasonal change (very loosely defined as Fall to Spring).
This group of volunteers relay boats and locations, keeping an eye out for boats on passage. On the same frequency, Dick Giddings, DOODAH Net, at 1700 (05:00 PM Eastern time) also does the same, on 8152 USB.
The Cruiseheimers Net website also has some excellent communications articles.

South African SSB Nets
For an up to date list of nets that operate in the region.

Cruising Radio Nets - Pacific

See Docksideradio.com for a list of nets on both the Pacific and Atlantic sides of the USA.

List of Pacific Radio Nets
Updated August 2016
Comprehensive and updated list of Radio nets covering the Pacific.

The Spider Web Net
Posted January 2018.
From Canada to South America and all the way out to Hawaii & Japan - depending on propagation. The morning session works the Caribbean & Eastern US (from Eastern Canada to South America) and the evening session reaches the Pacific.
This is a general rag chew HAM net that operates twice per day every day of the year, with start times of 1200 & 2230Z. Everyone welcome to join. The net will be 34 years old in July 2018. Just for fun, but many participants were cruising sailors who understand the issues that often need attention at sea. Find out more via the website.

Communications: Understanding Marine high-frequency Single Sideband Radio
A useful, clearly written article by Fredrick Gary Hareland and published in Ocean Navigator - May 2015.

Ham or SSB Maritime Net Information
Posted July 2012
SV Camelot have over 100 HAM/SSB Nets listed in PDF format for free download.

Is your SSB ready for the Atlantic?

The Essential Role of HF/SSB Radio in Ocean Cruising

The Icom M802 Radio Manual For "Idi-Yachts"

Where & When Propagation tool
The first Propagation tool for marine SSB communication. A very helpful tool, if you don´t know which frequency is best for communication between two boats.

Reports

DMR (Digital Mobile Radio): Can cruisers benefit from such a system?

Staying in Touch when Cruising
Posted May 2016.
How do you stay in touch with friends and family when you are out of cell phone range? Interesting article by long-term liveaboard Carolyn Shearlock.
General
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SSCA Radio Station "KPK" Teams With Chris Parker and MMSN to assist Solo Circumnavigator Donna Lange

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Report Icon

US Coast Guard Announces Decision to Continue HF Weather Broadcasts  (29 Feb 2008)